My Regeneration, My Joy – Part 2 Sunday, Nov 11 2018 

The scriptures for today begin at Matthew 5 vs 6:  “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

And also Ecclesiastes 1 vs 15: “What is crooked cannot be straightened and what is lacking cannot be counted.

Going on from where we left off in part 1 we are contrasting morality and Christianity. The first attribute of  Christianity is that it has “transforming character” and the second is that it has “true righteousness”.

The first scripture brings out the “fullness” of Christianity. And the second highlights the effects of man attempting to me “moral”. You see, originally man was made in the image of God. He was righteous, free from sin, straight. But, after the fall, he was “born crooked”, born in sin, shapen in iniquity.

Psalm 51:5 “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.”

With Christianity the third is restoration, freed from sin, without blemish. With morality it makes life bearable. But with Christianity there is “fullness, righteous, and straightness.”

Luke 3:4-6

as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet,

The voice of one crying in the wilderness,
Make ready the way of the Lord,
Make His paths straight.
Every ravine will be filled,
And every mountain and hill will be [a]brought low;
The crooked will become straight,
And the rough roads smooth;
And all [b]flesh will see the salvation of God.’”

With the old man, the moral man, he is angular, irregular, the road is rough, there are impediments, potholes if you will. But with the Christian there is “true righteousness”.

Romans 14:17 “for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Isaiah 57 but specifically vs 1b-2a “For the righteous man is taken away from evil,
He enters into peace” and vs 21: “There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.”

You see with morality you continue to have arguments ad disputes, but with Christianity there is peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. With morality it is like standing on a trap door that has turmoil underneath. You mess up and “fall through the door” and poof you are covered with worry and stress and biting of nails and gnashing of teeth. With Christianity there is righteousness, rest, joy, and peace with God being justified by faith.

Philippians 4:7  And the peace of God, which surpasses all [a]comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

John 1:17 “ For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth [a]were realized through Jesus Christ.

The moral man sticks with the “law” but those in Christ have realized His grace and truth evident in their lives. In the next post we will continue with the contrast and begin with an explanation of the “Salvation of God”.

To be continued…

 

 

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My Regeneration, My Joy -Part 1 Saturday, Nov 10 2018 

The scriptures for today begin in the book of John chapter 1 verses 26-33:

26 John answered them saying, “I baptize [s]in water, but among you stands One whom you do not know. 27 It is He who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.” 28 These things took place in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

29 The next day he *saw Jesus coming to him and *said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is He on behalf of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who [t]has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’ 31 I did not recognize [u]Him, but so that He might be manifested to Israel, I came baptizing [v]in water.” 32 John testified saying, “I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him. 33 I did not recognize [w]Him, but He who sent me to baptize [x]in water said to me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes [y]in the Holy Spirit.’

One of the very first things we must do as Christians is to realize the reasons we have to rejoice. Why do we rejoice? Is it because it says so in the bible, “Rejoice, and again I say rejoice!”? It is true that it is part of our Christian witness. “Let your light so shine before men that they will glorify you Father which is in heaven.”

 But there is a great difference between morality and Christianity. Let me illustrate from:

Luke 3:1-17. I shall emphasize the main point from verses 2b-6 verse 8a

The word of God came to John, the son of Zacharias, in the wilderness. And he came into all the district around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins; as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet,

The voice of one crying in the wilderness,
Make ready the way of the Lord,
Make His paths straight.
Every ravine will be filled,
And every mountain and hill will be [a]brought low;
The crooked will become straight,
And the rough roads smooth;
And all [b]flesh will see the salvation of God.’”

Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance,

Let me contrast morality and Christianity in various verses in order to point out the attributes of each.

Morality asks the question:  What shall we do?

   Christianity answers the question by:

1. Transforming character

2. True righteousness

3. Restoration

4. Power of God

5. Wisdom of God

To be continued…

 

 

 

Psalms 19 Thursday, Apr 12 2018 

The Scripture I would like to draw your attention to this morning is found in the book of Psalms, chapter 19. I think it is a fitting finish to the 21 day Psalms 119 study we concluded yesterday.

19 The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.
Day to day pours forth speech,
And night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words;
Their voice is not heard.
Their [a]line has gone out through all the earth,
And their utterances to the end of the world.
In them He has placed a tent for the sun,
Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber;
It rejoices as a strong man to run his course.
Its rising is from [b]one end of the heavens,
And its circuit to the [c]other end of them;
And there is nothing hidden from its heat.

The law of the Lord is [d]perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether.
10 They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.
11 Moreover, by them Your servant is warned;
In keeping them there is great reward.
12 Who can discern his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults.
13 Also keep back Your servant from presumptuous sins;
Let them not rule over me;
Then I will be [e]blameless,
And I shall be acquitted of great transgression.
14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.

For we know Matthew 5:16 16 Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

Come Back to the LORD-Day 16 Friday, Apr 6 2018 

Today’s Scripture may be found at Psalm 119:121-128

Ayin.

121 I have done justice and righteousness;
Do not leave me to my oppressors.
122 Be surety for Your servant for good;
Do not let the arrogant oppress me.
123 My eyes fail with longing for Your salvation
And for Your righteous [a]word.
124 Deal with Your servant according to Your lovingkindness
And teach me Your statutes.
125 I am Your servant; give me understanding,
That I may know Your testimonies.
126 It is time for the Lord to act,
For they have broken Your law.
127 Therefore I love Your commandments
Above gold, yes, above fine gold.
128 Therefore I esteem right all Your precepts concerning everything,
I hate every false way.

For we know Deuteronomy 4:29-30

29 But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul. 30 When you are in distress and all these things have come upon you, in the latter days you will return to the Lord your God and listen to His voice.

Come Back to the Lord- Day 5 Monday, Mar 26 2018 

Today’s Scripture can be found in the book of Psalms chapter 119 verses 33-40:

He.

33 Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes,
And I shall observe it to the end.
34 Give me understanding, that I may observe Your law
And keep it with all my heart.
35 Make me walk in the path of Your commandments,
For I delight in it.
36 Incline my heart to Your testimonies
And not to dishonest gain.
37 Turn away my eyes from looking at vanity,
And revive me in Your ways.
38 Establish Your [m]word to Your servant,
[n]As that which produces reverence for You.
39 Turn away my reproach which I dread,
For Your ordinances are good.
40 Behold, I long for Your precepts;
Revive me through Your righteousness.

For we know: Ecclesiastes 1:2-4

[a]Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher,
[b]Vanity of vanities! All is [c]vanity.”

What advantage does man have in all his work
Which he does under the sun?
A generation goes and a generation comes,
But the earth [d]remains forever.

I need you, LORD to revive me. Give me a double portion of your Spirit.

In Jesus’ name.

God’s Harvest Tuesday, Feb 7 2017 

In our side yard, we have a compost bin. In it, we put table scraps, potato peelings, egg shells, and other biodegradables. My husband is a master composter. Early in the spring we use the compost to build up our raised garden boxes before we plant the herbs, strawberries, and vegetables each year. Some of you may already know that there is nothing like home grown herbs and vegetables. Right now there are parsley, chives, and cilantro ready to harvest.

In the spiritual kingdom, we plant righteousness to get a harvest of unfailing love.

Hosea 10:12 Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers his righteousness on you.

When you sow something, you add water, sun, and time before you can reap. You have to give up something to get something. You don’t get the harvest right away. You have to wait upon the LORD.

God rains blessings on us so we can give of our fruits to bless others. God loves a cheerful giver.

Breaking up the unplowed ground is confessing our sins to soften our hearts to be able to receive the good God has for our lives. You have to sow before you can harvest. We give God our “garbage” and he turns it into something productive. If you keep planting in the same soil your harvest diminishes. But if you “break new ground” or plow a fallow field your harvest increases. So if there is a part of your life that you have not yet given to God you have the perfect opportunity to open it up to the LORD. Let him have it all.

Jesus said in Matthew 13:23 “But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty, or thirty times what was sown.”

There is nothing like the harvest that comes from an act of kindness or goodness or compassion or love.

God’s People Wednesday, Oct 26 2016 

[I am writing] to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called to be saints (God’s people) and set apart for a sanctified life, [that is, set apart for God and His purpose]: Grace to you and peace [inner calm and spiritual well-being] from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith [your trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness] is being proclaimed in all the world. For God, whom I serve with my spirit by preaching the gospel of His Son, is my witness as to how continuously I mention you 10 in my prayers; always pleading that somehow, by God’s will, I may now at last come to you. 11 For I long to see you so that I may share with you some spiritual gift, to strengthen and establish you; 12 that is, that we may be mutually encouraged and comforted by each other’s faith, both yours and mine. 13 I do not want you to be unaware, [c]brothers and sisters, that many times I have planned to come to you, (and have been prevented so far) so that I may have some fruit [of my labors] among you, even as I have among the rest of the Gentiles. 14 I have a duty to perform and a debt to pay both to Greeks and to barbarians [the cultured and the uncultured], both to the wise and to the foolish. 15 So, for my part, I am ready and eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome.

16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation [from His wrath and punishment] to everyone who believes [in Christ as Savior], to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed, both springing from faith and leading to faith [disclosed in a way that awakens more faith]. As it is written and forever remains written, “The just and upright shall live by faith.”

Sowing and Reaping (Natural Laws) Thursday, Jan 30 2014 

Financial Serenity is the product of sowing good seed.  It is the product of natural laws.  Natural laws can be seen in nature. Jesus teaches us through the parable of the sower that a farmer went out to sow his seed.  As he was scattering the seed some fell along the path and the birds came and ate it up.  Some fell on rocky places where it did not have much soil.  It sprang up quickly because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched and they withered because they had no root.  Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants.  Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop – a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.  He who has ears let him hear.

Listen then to what the parable of the sower means.   When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart.  This is the seed sown along the path.  The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy.  But since he has no root he lasts only a short time.  When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away.  The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful.   But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it.  He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.

So what does this have to do with financial serenity? Everything.

First, you reap what you sow.

Second, the farmer went out.  He didn’t expect to harvest without first planting.

Third, he had plenty of seeds so much so; he was able to scatter it everywhere.  God gives us what we need to plant.

Fourth, not all that you invest will bring a good return.  Some will fall by the wayside.

Fifth, some investments are short-term but they are still based on the same “solid” rock principals.  Know the “roots” of your investment. Who else is planting there?

Sixth, thorns represent debt that ties up your investment in paying back old creditors instead of new ventures. Be aware of the liabilities and ratios of companies you buy.  The deceitfulness of wealth is greed.  Don’t put all your seed in one spot.

Seventh, Investing in good companies means truly voting your conscience. Know the ethics of the companies you buy.  Lax ethics increase the risk of legal battles.

Reaping has natural laws too. 

First, reapers come at harvest time, not sooner.  If you cash in your retirement early part of the money goes to pay taxes and penalties.

Second, the sower reaps.

Third, the farmer must go out to reap.  Nothing is handed to you on a silver platter.

Fourth, Bundle the tares first and burn them.

Fifth, If you sleep on the job and aren’t alert you could make bad investments.

Sixth the enemy can sow weeds in your “golden wheat.”

Seventh, the smallest seed of mustard can grow to be the largest investment.

Jesus teaches us the parable of the weeds. “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field.  But while everyone was sleeping his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away.  When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.  The owner’s servants came and said to him, “Sir didn’t you sow good seed? Where then did the weeds come from?”

“An enemy did this,” he replied.

“The servants asked him, “Do you want us to go and pull them up?”

“No”, he answered. “Because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them.  Let both grow together until the harvest.  At that time, I will tell the harvesters, “First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.”

He told them another parable. “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field.  Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest in the garden when it is planted and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its’ branches.”

Remember Gal 6:7 “do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked.  A man reaps what he sows.  The one who sows to please his sinful nature from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.  Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

            Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers”.

            If you gossip about your friends you will lose their friendship. Every action has results.  What kind of seeds are you sowing? Accepting the seed God gives us to sow can represent talents. Use the talents God has given you to earn and invest wisely.  Just remember that God gives the increase.